George Morris, 81, is described by the New York Times as "the foremost trainer in equestrian competition"—one who has coached Olympians and won a silver medal himself in 1960. He has also now been handed the most extreme punishment the United States Center for SafeSport has in its arsenal as it investigates alleged sexual misconduct in Olympic sports. On Monday it was announced that Morris has been banned for life from the United States Equestrian Federation following a probe of allegations involving a minor. Phelps Sports explains the ruling means Morris may not take part in competitions or events that the USEF "licenses, endorses, or sponsors."
In a mass email sent by Morris to his mailing list, he said he would appeal the decision, which he said relates to alleged incidents from the 1968 to 1972 time period. "I contest these findings wholeheartedly," wrote Morris, who the Chronicle of the Horse notes led the US team to gold in the 2008 Olympics. SafeSport did not provide details, other than to say that permanent suspensions are handed out only in the "most egregious cases." The federation, for its part, said it would abide by the ruling, which came after SafeSport found the allegations "credible." (Read more equestrian stories.)